Starting on March 29, all adults in Texas will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and seniors 80 years of age and older will be able to get it without an appointment. The state also plans to launch a brand new vaccine registration website next week.
The Texas Department of State Health Services announced Tuesday it is able to do this now because of an increase in the vaccine supply.
According to DSHS associate commissioner for infectious disease services Imelda Garcia, “As eligibility opens up, we are asking providers to continue to prioritize people who are at the most risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death – such as older adults.”
People who are 80 and older will get moved to the front of the line for getting the vaccine. All they have to do is show up at any vaccine provider and they can immediately get vaccinated.
DSHS will launch a website next week to register for the vaccine to get a shot through a public health provider. The DSHS said, “The public will be able to enroll in the Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler to identify upcoming vaccine clinics hosted by DSHS or a participating local health department and be notified when new clinics and appointments become available.”
DSHS said that Texas has administered 9.3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine statewide. That includes more than 6 million first doses of the vaccine. Of those, more than 3 million are fully vaccinated.
Most vaccines are authorized for people 18 years and older, but the FDA has authorized the Pfizer vaccine people 16 and older.
President Biden announced on March 11 that he was directing the states to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all adults by May 1. The move by Texas beats that federal target by more than a month.